With the fifth international Electrochemical Energy Summit and the ECS Lecture by Adam Heller, the 228th ECS Meeting is poised to be one of our most significant programs in the history of the Society. While Heller’s contributions to science are well known—from lithium batteries to biomedical engineering to photoelectrochemistry—his connects to ECS may not be as familiar, but nonetheless run deep.
Notably, this is not the first lecture delivered by Heller at an ECS meeting. During the 180th ECS Meeting in 1991, Heller delivered one of four ECS lectures entitled “On the Impact of Electrochemistry on Biomedicine and the Environment.” Now, 28 years later Heller will be delivering yet another lecture at the 228th ECS Meeting in the same location as the 180th. With his scientific themes transcending the years, his lecture this year is entitled “Wealth, Global Warming and Geoengineering.”
Over 50 Years of Innovation
Aside from delivering the much anticipated ECS Lecture at the 228th ECS Meeting, Heller will also be accepting the Heinz Gerischer Award for his fundamental and applied contributions to electrochemistry and its uses. This award is especially significant due to the connection between Heller and Gerischer.
Heller’s Contributions to Solar
Heller and Gerischer were once colleges that both shared an interest in electroluminescence. The two spent some time together in Massachusetts just a short time after the United States oil crisis in 1973. During this time, Gerischer taught Heller the elements of semiconductor electrochemistry and opened the door to the possibility of developing a semiconductor liquid junction solar cell.
However, Gerischer was at GTE Labs during this time, where his work was focused in other areas. Once he left GTE Labs to return to Bell Labs in 1975, he began to more fully examine the possibility of semiconductor liquid junction solar cells.
Impact on Scholarly Publications
Over the following five years, Heller and his team at Bell Labs published a series of papers on their developments and discoveries in solar cells. This resulted in what would be the first 10 percent efficient solar cell.
PS: Take a look at this 1992 paper published in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (JES) by Heller and Gerischer entitled, “Photocatalytic Oxidation of Organic Molecules at TiO2 Particles by Sunlight in Aerated Water.”
Heller’s publishing significance with ECS does not stop there. In 1973, Heller co-authored the first publication in JES on the lithium-thionyl chloride battery—one of the earliest lithium ion batteries, still used world-wide today.
More recently, ECS devoted a focus issue to Heller’s enduring contributions to electrochemistry. You can read the entire issue for free.
Over the years, Heller’s impact on electrochemical science the ECS generally has been immense.